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As NFL Receiver, Christian Kirk Coming Out A Head

Wide receiver Christian Kirk stands on the sideline during the Cardinals' first preseason game this season.
Wide receiver Christian Kirk stands on the sideline during the Cardinals' first preseason game this season.

Christian Kirk will be a great player in the NFL. Just look at his head.

That was what fellow rookie Josh Rosen noted Wednesday as he talked about the wide receiver’s development, and he wasn’t using a euphemism for ego.

“Christian has been unbelievable,” Rosen said. “As (OC) Byron (Leftwich) always says, he knows Christian is going to be a really good player because he has a huge head. Hines Ward, Golden Tate, apparently if you have a really big head you have a really good chance to be a good receiver.”

Kirk chuckled when Rosen’s comments were relayed. Maybe he hadn’t heard that particular theory, but he has heard plenty about his head in the locker room.

“Hey, it’s something you’ve got to embrace,” Kirk said. “I guess it’s a thing. It’s new to me, but if it’s working in my favor, I’ll guess I’ll embrace it.”

How much Kirk’s brain container has helped on the field can’t really be measured, although he has emerged with a solid rookie season. Kirk has 36 catches for a team-leading 495 yards and three touchdowns, not bad numbers in an offense that has struggled to consistently produce.

Mentally, Kirk believes he has only just begun to absorb the NFL game.

“I’m really just scratching the surface of the things that I can learn and what I am seeing week to week, learning through mistakes, taking criticisms and work with it in practice and transfer it to the field,” Kirk said.

Kirk said he’s been good-naturedly teased about the size of his head his whole life, by his family and friends and now extending into the Cardinals’ locker. Larry Fitzgerald has told him his cranium provides Kirk protection “so I can’t get hurt.”

The funny thing is he doesn’t even know his hat size.

“I don’t wear hats,” Kirk said, “exactly for this reason.”

BOSTON BACK TO L.A.

Safety Tre Boston will get a chance to see his old team, and Chargers coach Anthony Lynn told Los Angeles reporters his team needed to change some signals so Boston doesn’t have any inside information.

“I appreciate that, but I forgot all of the signals,” Boston said with a straight face. “He gave me a little extra credit there, I don’t remember much. … C’mon, they went through training camp and OTAs. You don’t want to change it up on those guys.”

Boston had a career-best five interceptions for the Chargers last season, after he was released by the Panthers. Boston had hoped to parlay that into a big new contract, but the Chargers let him leave and he was eventually led to take a cheaper, one-year deal with the Cardinals.

“I left there on a good note,” Boston said. “I think everyone can say they have love for me, and I have love for them. I’m going back to face my brothers.”

GONZALEZ RETURNS TO ARIZONA

Zane Gonzalez, college football’s all-time leader in field goals made after a stellar career at Arizona State, is now on the Cardinals’ practice squad as the team evaluates him as a potential kicker of the future.

Gonzalez joked that, even after playing at ASU, he didn’t realize how close the Dignity Health Arizona Cardinals Training Center was to his house, only a couple of miles down the road.

“Everything worked out in a great way and I’m back here in Arizona and it’s awesome,” Gonzalez said.

After a rough start to the year – in just two games, Gonzalez missed two extra points and three field goals for the Browns, including a potential overtime game-winner against the rival Steelers – he was released. He was dealing with a groin injury in the Pittsburgh game, and he is healthy now, without a desire to revisit the end in Cleveland.

“I’ve moved on,” Gonzalez said. “I could talk about it all day. There’s just no sense to do it. It’s the past for a reason.”

HUMPHRIES, BAKER STILL SIDELINED

Left tackle D.J. Humphries (knee) and safety Budda Baker (knee) were among the players unable to practice Wednesday. Coach Steve Wilks said the hope is that Humphries will be able to practice at some point this week. Also sitting out for the Cardinals were linebacker Deone Bucannon (chest), wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald (vet’s day off), safety Rudy Ford (heel), wide receiver Chad Williams (ankle) and tight end John Phillips (knee).

Limited were linebacker Josh Bynes (wrist/hip), kicker Phil Dawson (right hip), defensive tackle Robert Nkemdiche (calf), defensive tackle Corey Peters (heel) and defensive tackle Olsen Pierre (ankle).

For the Chargers, tight end Antonio Gates (not-injury-related), defensive tackle Corey Liuget (knee) and wide receiver Tyrell Williams (quadriceps) didn't practice. Running back Austin Ekeler (neck) and cornerback Trevor Williams (knee) were limited.

CROCKETT BACK WITH PRACTICE SQUAD

The Cardinals re-signed wide receiver Montay Crockett to the practice squad Wednesday.

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